The Empress is a German-language period drama focusing on the 19th-century Austrian Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria, available to stream on Netflix. The series stars Devrim Lingnau as the historical titular figure, with Philip Froissant appearing as Emperor Franz Joseph, the King of Hungary.
After a release to the platform on September 29th 2022, the show, which Katharina Eyssen and Lena Stahl created, became Netflix’s second-most-watched series worldwide for two weeks and the seventh most popular non-English series of 2022, with over 150 million hours streamed. This positive reception led to the announcement of a second season on November 8th, 2022.
The Empress tells the story of 16-year-old Elisabeth, also known as Sisa, who falls in love with Joseph despite him being promised to her older sister Duchess Helene in Bavaria, played by Elisa Schlott.
The show stars Melika Foroutan as Princess Sophie, Archduchess of Austria, Joseph’s mother, and Johannes Nussbaum as Archduke Maximilian, his brother. Elisabeth’s additional family members include her mother, Ludovika, Duchess in Bavaria, played by Jördis Triebel.
The show’s shooting occurred between August 2021 and January 2022, being filmed in German and dubbed into 14 other languages. Once filming was complete, actor Froissant took to Instagram to share his gratitude, writing, “Thank you so much for accompanying us on this journey and for the amazing work.”
The Empress is the most successful German production on Netflix since Barbarians, the 2020 war drama created by Andreas Heckmann, Arne Nolting, and Jan Martin Scharf. The series came behind Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story for the most-watched Netflix series, with 106.6 million streaming hours in approximately 18.7 million homes.
As reported by Collider, creator Eyssen stated: “I am incredibly grateful that we were able to touch so many different people in Germany and all over the world with our series.”
“The story of Elisabeth’s life is a story of the power of love, but also of the courage to be different, and of hope for a better future, and that is what we need at this time,” she continued. “That’s why we are very happy to be able to continue telling this exciting story.”
All six episodes of The Empress are available on Netflix.